Governance – Friend or Foe?

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Yesterday at the Agile Business Conference we ran an afternoon World Cafe-style workshop to re-imagine governance. Here’s the deck.

Is governance focused on the right things? Governance is set up to manage risks, resources, and productivity, and operates to assure programs get delivered to realize promised benefits. What if customers don’t buy what’s delivered? What if users hate it? What, if anything, was assured in the business case? Were the benefits guaranteed? Is governance missing an opportunity to add greater value?

There is a tension between agile teams and governance models. Governance is geared more to the things that are valued less in the Agile Manifesto – tools, plans, contracts and documentation. So why not design a governance model that embodies agile and lean principles? What if governance looked for opportunities to create value and eliminate waste instead of asking whether programs are on schedule and within budget? What would governance and portfolios need to look like to enable greater business agility? What new roles would governance take on and what would its operating principles be?

Simon Baker
Simon Baker
Simon Baker is chief swashbuckler at Energized Work, a guerrilla technology lab based onboard HMS President in London. Simon cofounded Energized Work and in 2009 received the Agile Alliance Gordon Pask Award. He speaks internationally about applying agile and lean principles and techniques in business, software development, and information technology. With 22 years experience delivering software in the media, retail, healthcare, financial services and banking sectors, Simon is a leader doing things differently to find out what matters and get the right things done in the right way. He isn't afraid to question conventional thinking and disrupt the status quo. Simon feels strongly that work shouldn't feel like work and he has a track record creating exciting working conditions that help people change the way they deliver software for the better.

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